Syria Genocide War Crimes

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Holocaust victims seek compensation from death camp railways

By David Charter
From: NewsCore January 14, 2010

The last remaining Polish victims of the transport trains that took millions to Nazi death camps have mounted a claim for compensation. The compensation claim comes after learning that Germany’s state rail company is planning to run again on Polish rails, The Times of London reported today.

Some 7,000 survivors are calling for Deutsche Bahn to help to pay their medicine and care bills from the profits of the company’s expansion, which was made possible by the deregulation of rail competition across Europe from January 1.

Deutsche Bahn, which is owned by the German government, is the successor to the wartime Reichsbahn, which charged its coerced passengers for their journeys to concentration camps, including Auschwitz.

The claim is a last effort by the dwindling number of Holocaust survivors to win payments from Germany after the Polish government formally closed the issue of seeking compensation from Berlin in 2004.

"Deutsche Bahn wants to profit in our country," said Stanislaw Zalewski, 85, head of the Polish Association of Former Political Prisoners of Hitler’s Prisons and Concentration Camps.

"We want them to hand over a sum for humanitarian aid for former prisoners and forced labourers," the former inmate of Auschwitz added.

The call for compensation is being supported by Train of Commemoration, a German organisation dedicated to preserving the memory of the three million victims of Nazi deportations.

It estimates that Deutsche Reichsbahn made at least €445 million ($778 million) at contemporary value by charging transportees from all over Europe.

It said that its research showed that the price was raised for a trip to death camps such as Auschwitz.

"Deutsche Reichsbahn was a state-owned logistical system of the Nazi regime so every deportation was carried out by them. This is Deutsche Bahn’s heritage and its obligation," it said.

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